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travel inspiration for small budgets and big dreams

SGMT France Paris Hotel de Ville
The French embassy in the Philippines has entrusted processing of Schengen visa applications to VFS Global. Here’s what you need to know about the current procedure for getting a Schengen visa through the French embassy.

See if you are one of the people allowed to apply directly to the French embassy HERE.

Want to know about my personal experience applying for a Schengen visa at the French embassy? Read this article.

Basic steps

  1. Prepare your documents.
  2. Schedule an appointment with VFS.
  3. Go to the visa application center on your appointment schedule to submit your documents and have your biometrics taken.
  4. Wait for the result.
one week paris_php50000

When should you apply?

You can only submit your visa application within 90 days from your date of departure. For example, if you are leaving the Philippines on August 1, 2016, you can submit your visa application from May 3, 2016 onwards.

Things to take into account as you decide when to apply:

  • The processing time for a short stay visa is 48 hours from the time the complete application is received at the French Embassy, while the processing time for a long stay visa is 15 working days receipt at the French Embassy. If you are asked to submit additional documents, processing time may take up to 4 to 8 weeks.
  • In 2015, the French embassy received almost 20,000 visa applications! (That’s actually why they decided to get the help of VFS for visa application processing.) Don’t take it for granted that there will be an appointment slot available anyday.


Is personal appearance necessary?

Yes! You will need to have your photo and fingerprints taken.


Will there be an interview at the French embassy?

According to VFS, “Applicants may be requested to appear at the Consulate for an interview.” So: there’s a good chance you won’t need to be interviewed.


What are the requirements for a Schengen Visa?

The following are the documents required for a short stay (less than or equal to 90 consecutive days) Schengen visa for the purpose of tourism. The documents must be in two complete sets — original and photocopy — and must be arranged in the order specified below:

  • Signed Schengen visa application form (download HERE) with photo (35mm x 45mm, white background, see detailed specs HERE)
  • Valid passport, with photocopy of valid and former visas, pages of the passport with Immigration stamps and previous refusal stamps, if any. The passport must:
    • Have been issued less than 10 years before the date of application
    • Remain valid for more than 3 months from the end of intended stay in the Schengen area
    • Contain at least 2 successive blank pages facing each other
  • Cover letter explaining the purpose of the trip (see sample HERE) and proposed day-to-day itinerary. Here are a few sample itineraries to get you started and inspired:

  • Hotel reservations* for the entire stay in the Schengen area. Most hotels in will allow you to reserve without paying, and many even let you cancel up to a few days before your stay without charges. Paris hotels we’ve stayed in and can recommend:
    • Grand Hotel du Loiret (see SGMT review here)
    • Hotel Terminus Lyon (see SGMT review here)
    • Hotel Eiffel Capitol
    • Timhotel Le Louvre
    • Hotel Le Notre-Dame Saint-Michel
  • Round trip airline reservations (Philippines – Schengen Area – Philippines)
  • Transfer tickets within Schengen countries (train, coach, flight reservations, etc)
  • If you are visiting family, proof of your relationship (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.)
  • Certificate of employment with monthly salary and leave of absence approved by employer, or if self employed, official business registration (DTI Permit and/or SEC papers) for current and previous year
  • Income tax return (latest)
  • Personal bank certification (must be issued within the last month)
  • Photocopy of the same bank account’s Statement of Account for the last three months
  • For minors and/or students:
    • Proof of economic means of parents/legal guardian
    • Copy of passport of parents/legal guardian and affidavit of support and consent
    • Proof of enrolment and certificate of leave of absence if travelling during the school year
  • Identity/marital status
    • Marriage contract (if applicable)
    • Birth certificate
    • For non-Filipino applicants, a copy of Alien Certificate Registration (ACR)
    • For minors not travelling with either parent, a copy of the DSWD permit
  • International travel insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation for the entire period of the applicant’s intended stay
    • Must be valid for all Schengen states
    • Minimum coverage should be EUR 30,000
    • Read my personal recommendation on: Travel insurance for European trips (no, I don’t get any commission from Blue Cross)
  • Visa fee (see below)



*If you will be staying with a French resident, in lieu of hotel reservations you need to submit:

  • “Attestation d’accueil” delivered by the City Hall where your host is residing (the original must be presented)
  • Copy of your host’s passport or residence permit (if he/she is a citizen of a country outside the EU)
  • Proof of your relationship with your host (if applicable)


*For priests, nuns and missionaries, submit:

  • “Formulaire unique”
  • Certificate from the Apostolic Nunciature
  • Guarantee letter from French and Filipino congregation


If someone else is sponsoring your trip, see: Sample Affidavit of Support (for Visa Application).

This list of requirements has been determined to be complete and accurate as of 16 March 2017. If you are reading this at a much later date, please verify the list of requirements HERE. You can get a copy of the checklist HERE.


How much is the visa fee?


  • Schengen Short Stay Visa – 60 euros
  • Airport Transit Visa – 60 euros
  • Long Stay Visa – 99 euros

Source: French Embassy

In addition, you need to pay the VFS service fee, which is 26 euros per application.

(If you’re interested in the Airport Transit Visa, learn more about it HERE.)


Make an appointment at the VFS

Click HERE to book an appointment and view the instructions from VFS on what to do on your schedule of appointment.

Things to remember:

  • Print out your appointment confirmation letter and bring it with you on your appointment.
  • Your documents must be arranged in the order specified in the CHECKLIST.
  • After you pay the visa and service fees, keep your receipt — you will need this to retrieve your passport after your visa application has been processed by the French embassy.
  • You can opt to have your passport delivered to you by courier (for an extra charge, of course).


Wait for the results

You can track your application HERE.

According to VFS, processing times vary:

  • For short stay visas: 48 hours from the time a complete application is received at the French Embassy
  • For long stay visas: 15 working days from the time a complete application is received at the French Embassy
  • If an application required further documentation, it may take up to 4 to 8 weeks before a decision is reached.

Good luck! 🙂


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57 Responses

  1. Hi dear, i have a little bit of a silly question,
    do i need to submit the original dti permit? and land title photocopy too is okay, right?
    also, how is it that they asked for the permit of current and previous year when the dti permit is good for 5 years? do they mean mayor’s permit or something… well, just in case you have an idea about this..
    oh, lastly, could i submit/attached to my application papers my insurance investments (first page of the contract?) (bec its 10 years on-going and it might be able to convince them i have financial capability and that i would return in one shot), what do you think?
    thank you!

    1. Hi Lay! You have to bring the originals of all your documents but I believe they will return them to you and only take the photocopies. The checklist said DTI permit, not mayor’s permit, but I guess it won’t hurt if you bring the mayor’s permit too, and if the DTI permit covers both the current and previous year then that should be fine. I think it’s a good idea to bring your insurance investment papers as well (originals and photocopies) and other types of investments (like mutual funds and UITFs). Good luck!

      1. I find its so kind of you to always reply and give a good personalized answer to each of us. So, thank you and thank you! I wish you well,

      2. You’re welcome, and thank *you* for taking the time to leave this comment. Not everyone does. All the best to you. xx

  2. Hello there! About the round-trip airline reservations, does it have to be paid already? I’m a little bit hesitant to have a fully paid roundtrip ticket without having the approval yet.

    1. Hi Peach! I think you only need reservations, not an actual fully paid ticket. It’s not elaborated in the current checklist of requirements, but the previous list of requirements from the French embassy (see HERE) specifically said “do not purchase your ticket unless your visa is granted.” (In my case, the airline was holding a sale so I took a chance and just bought the ticket even if I didn’t have a visa yet. You can imagine how scared I was when I applied for a visa!)

  3. hi, its me again. i came from the older version of this post and I see airline tickets are now required? I’d like to ask, is it favorable to book tickets even before the visa was granted or not? Thanks xx

    1. you can apply under FRANCE embassy if you’re travelling to Greece, Monacco and austria. You can check it under France Embassy checklist 🙂 its the same requirements as per French Visa

      1. Thanks for your input, Ricardo! To clarify — you can apply at the French embassy if you’re going to any of the Schengen countries (including Greece and Austria) BUT your itinerary has to include France, and France should be your main country of destination. If you are only going to Greece/Monaco/Austria but your primary destination is not France, you cannot apply at the French embassy. Also, Schengen countries generally have similar requirements but may have slight differences; for example, some embassies require a cover letter and some do not. So it would be wise to check the specific requirements of the embassy where you are applying.

  4. Hi. I would like to ask for the word format copy of affidavit of support to be used for visa application 🙂

    Thanks! 🙂

    PS Your blog is really helpful 🙂

    1. Hi Val! I just sent a copy to your email. Thanks so much for your kind words, I’m really very happy when my blog is able to help someone. Good luck with your trip! 🙂

    1. Hi Ren! I’m not sure if everyone has to make a personal appearance after the trip, but I did, and a reader who went to France this year also had to report back to the embassy.

  5. Hi! Your blog is really worth-reading. 🙂 By the way, I’m Lady Barlongo. I just recently applied for a Schengen Visa at the French Embassy and unfortunately, I was refused for the 2nd time around 🙁 year 2013 was the 1st. And I am going to re-apply again. I need to provide more supporting documents. Bc the reason why I was refused are as follows: the intention to leave the country before the visa expires cannot be ascertained and the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable.

    Do you have any tips or suggestions on how To make my application stronger? And about the affidavit of support is it coming from the one who will sponsor my trip and will be notarized on that country? I didn’t understand how it works. Im sorry. I wanted to know, though. I really really like to go to Paris.
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Lady Joevil!

      First of all, I’m very sorry for my super-delayed reply. And I’m sorry about your visa application being denied, na-try ko din yan nung nag-apply ako sa US before, nakakainis.

      For your visa application, you really have to prove (as much as you can) that you are only going there as a tourist and that you plan to come back to the Philippines. Documents that would possibly help: plane tickets that you already paid for; paid tickets to the attractions that you will be visiting (for example, you can buy tickets to the Louvre online); a detailed daily itinerary that includes — if you are going to different cities — the trains you will be taking; a detailed budget. To help prove that you are coming back to the Philippines, you should also show proof that you have a stable income here, so that includes a certificate of employment and approved leave of absence, proof of healthy finances (bank account statement and certification, investments, etc.), properties here in the Philippines, and if applicable, marriage certificate and child’s birth certificate.

      The affidavit of support should be executed by the person (if it’s not you) who is paying for your trip and, yes, it should be notarized in the country where that person is located, because the notary public will have to witness him/her signing the affidavit.

      Don’t be discouraged. I have friends whose applications have been denied and eventually got a visa. You might also want to consider trying other Schengen countries and just dropping by Paris once you have the visa.

      Good luck!

  6. Hello,thank you for your blog! I am planning to apply for shengen visa for france,I was wondering do you have any idea how much money should I have on my account in order for them to grant me a visa?my friend has 200k on his account and has all the needed documents but he was denied. Thank you so much!


    1. Hi Pau!

      Some Schengen countries set a minimum amount that you should have in your bank account to pay for your living expenses during the trip — depending on the country, that amount could be somewhere around 34 euros or 45 euros per day of your trip. BUT that’s only for your living expenses. Of course your bank account should have more than that, otherwise they will wonder why you’re spending all your money on travel. And that’s where it gets tricky, because as far as I know, no embassy has actually stated the total amount of money you should have in your bank account.

      I actually just recently found the bank cert that I submitted back in 2011, when I first applied for a Schengen visa at the French embassy, and I had 47k pesos and 629 usd in my bank account. I was paying for that trip myself, but I still asked my father to make an affidavit of support stating that he would give me cash equivalent to 60 euros per day of the trip. I think that’s what convinced the French embassy people to give me a visa.

      Also: I think your itinerary will matter. If you’re a budget traveler, and you’re staying in hostels, and doing free tours and stuff like that, then I think a lower bank balance will be acceptable. But if you’re staying in big-name hotels and planning on shopping and going to expensive attractions, then they will expect you to have more money in your account.

      What I do nowadays is this: whenever I apply for a visa, I make (and submit) a budget for my trip that is as detailed as possible, and I make sure that my total budget is less than half of the amount I have in my bank account. I think that’s what’s most important: that you can show the consulate that you are a responsible person, that you have enough money for all the things you plan to do on your trip, and that you have enough income here in the Philippines and you’re not desperate enough to stay in their country illegally.

      I hope that helps. Good luck!

  7. Hi! My son has an upcoming study tour to France and I have no idea to make an affidavit of support. If it’s not too much to ask, can I ask for a sample ASC? Thanks in advance!

  8. Hello, my friends and aunt applied for schengen visa they were all government employee but unfortunately denied, but they want to still reapply now with their employer/government official and gave them all an affidavit of support..Can you give me some more advice?

    1. Hi Jem! Your affidavit of support will probably help. Generally, they just need to be meticulous with their documents, particularly those relating to their purpose of travel (if for tourism, a solid itinerary, tickets etc.), financial capacity, and ties to the Philippines (stable employment, property, etc.).

  9. Hello I m in very serious prob as my parents got all visa stamp in passport for France Schegen visa but my it has been refused by visa officer , I have gone in vfs global but I get refuse letter written in French when I googled it shows justify ur going to Europe and commit that u will cm India as I’m gulf return last year sept 2016 and now I’m not having job here in India , as they think that I will be not be coming to India bcoz I don’t have job here as I am going with my parents my mom and dad both as they r old 70&58 years respectively and my age is 30 so can anybody help me what to do in this situation as no body believing that I will cm in India they think that I will be working der only will not cm in India again , my parents are not so strong that’s y i will be taking care of my parents that’s the reason I’m going nothing else
    Plzzz help me out already hotel booking , flight ticket , itenary all booked der in France

    1. Hi Anup.

      The only thing I can think of would be to submit documentation that your parents need you to take care of them. For example, if they have any illnesses, you can present their medical records. If there are any official documents that designate you as their primary caregiver then that would be helpful. If you resigned from your previous job for the reason that you will be taking care of your parents, perhaps you can present a copy of your resignation letter.

      I’m afraid I am not really familiar with what to do in situations like this so I think it might be helpful if you also ask for assistance from travel agencies or travel consultants in your area who might have a better idea of what to do.

      Good luck!

  10. Ok first of all thanks for ur reply , as I have asked to travel agencies Reg this they told u have to show heavy income statement in bank or own property etc and someone is telling it’s not about ur financial condition as bank loan or money trf can be done from anywhere but u have to show and have to commit that assure that u will cm to India back , so what should I do now for this . And one more question is if i re apply is it possible to get visa or if reject so in future can I apply or can I go in Schgen countries and plzz suggest what doc needed for re apply .

    1. Hi Anup,

      That’s why I’m saying you should try to give them some form of documentation that you are your parents’ caregiver — that is one thing that will help prove to them that you are going back to your country. Other proof of ties to your home country would usually include: (1) certificate of employment with approved leave of absence — but you’ve already said that you don’t have a job as you are taking care of your parents, so try to find a way to document that you really are taking care of your parents; (2) proof of property such as real estate; and (3) marriage certificate and birth certificate of children.

      You can reapply but of course I cannot tell you whether or not you will be granted a visa because the only one who can give you that assurance is the consul who will be approving your application. As for the documents you need, they’re basically the same requirements, but you should concentrate on the reason why your application was denied during your first application, so if the reason was that you had no proof that you will be coming back to your country, then try to find a way to prove that you will be coming back.

  11. Ok and again thanks for ur reply and I’m not an married person I’m a bachelor so what other doc I can show to vfs global as property I have the name in nominee as dad is the owner I’m the nominee and cover letter I will prepare better this time and I have also asked Reg the next date of re apply of app they told 28 of this month will be the app before this no date is der in vfs global and the travelling date is 23 may 2017 so now plzz help me out for this

    1. I’m very sorry, Anup, but the things that I have mentioned before are really the only suggestions I have.

      As for the dates, I really have no power to help you out there. Perhaps you can call VFS again, tell them your travel date is May 23, and ask them what your options are. If your itinerary is still flexible, you can also perhaps consider changing it so that you can apply at the embassy of another Schengen country.

      I wish you the best of luck!

  12. We have one house with my dad name whr I’m the nominee and one shop also owned by my elder brother & sister in law Name joint but it’s our own shop and own house
    So these 2 property we have but I’m not the owner here but from my family we have these 2 property is it fine to give them or no

    1. I’m not sure what nominee means when it comes to property, but if the document contains your name, you could try submitting it. If the shop does not have your name in it, I don’t think it will be helpful.

  13. Nominee means I’m in a share means in property my name is also der as dad is owner and after dad or mom if anything happens den the house will be for me and my brother 50% share

  14. HI 🙂

    I just applied for Visa going to France this Wednesday. I hope everything goes well, but I’m wondering about checking the status on the VFS website. I’m not sure if I’m entering the Application Reference # right. Do I need to include the slash ‘/’ or should I remove it? I got the text last Wednesday that my application was dispatched to the Embassy and even if I check the reference # now, it is still showing as failed to retrieve status. Thank you in advance for your reply ^^

    1. Hi Jane! Sorry, I haven’t had experience with the tracking function yet so I don’t really know… My advice would be to put it out of your mind first — if you can! I know it’s hard lol — and just wait for notification of the result. They’re required to review applications within at most 15 days. Good luck! 🙂

  15. Hi.Question lng po. Kasi I only have less than 100K sa bank tpos 2 credit cards. I’m not so confident na ma-approve xa and cant deposit big amount either kasi baka mag duda sila. My friend who lives in France will cover my accomodation but I dont want to declare it because of the requirements. My boyfriend who lives in Australia said he will help me if i need anything (if my visa is approved) in france just in case I need more money for emergency. Ano po kaya pwedeng ibigay sa immigration? Pwede po ba mga transaction history from Western Union and bank to bank transfer, some pictures and messages to prove the relationship? Thank you.

    1. Hi Mia! First of all, I would suggest that you make a budget for your trip, and try to make sure that it doesn’t go over the money that you do have in your bank account. Then if your boyfriend is willing, ask him to make an Affidavit of Support, attach his financial documents, and yes, proof of your relationship like the WU/bank transactions and messages. Good luck!

  16. Hi Gaya,

    Thanks. I will have an affidavit of support from him. Should he need to send an original copy or scanned copy will do?

  17. Hi, regarding the Transfer tickets within Schengen countries (train, coach, flight reservations, etc) requirement of the VFS. How did you provide? Is is book and buy or just reservations? We are planning of buying our own plane tickets and train tickets after the visa is issued. Thank you

    1. Hi Sum! So far, I’ve only been using trains to travel between Schengen countries and cities, and I buy the tickets outright. I’m not sure if you can just make reservations (without buying) for trains and other modes of transport, but the advantage of buying train tickets in advance is that you can get them for a much cheaper price than if you wait till you get your visa, so that’s why I just buy them (and then pray and pray to get a visa lol). Good luck!

  18. Hi! Thank you for your reply!
    I’m also considering of doing the book and buy because of the cheap tickets. However, our travel is still on October, so the train prices are not yet on promo. What trains are you using within the Schengen countries?

    1. It really depends where you’re going. For travel between major cities, it’s usually the national train operators (SNCF, Trenitalia, Thalys, DB, etc). When planning train routes and for info on where to buy tickets, I usually use as a resource.

      You can only apply for a Schengen visa within 90 days before departure anyway, so hopefully train bookings will be open (and you can get the cheap fares) before you apply for a visa.

  19. Hi gaya. Hope all is well. I first lodge my short stay application last may 11 and got refused may 16. I submitted may 2nd application last May 31 and up to now, it is still processing. I email vfs and they are just replying to me with copy and paste email. 🙁 I understand that if they need further documents, it might take 4-8 weeks but isnt it if they need such, they should inform me by now? 🙁

    also i am thinking to call directly the embassy, do you think its a good idea?

    1. Hi Mia!

      I’m very sorry for the super-late reply. I was on a trip recently and then when I got back, I had to catch up on work, so I was super-busy and have just gotten around to replying to comments.

      Anyway, I hope you’ve had the results of your visa application by now. I think, especially since it’s your second application and your previous one was denied, that they may just be taking a longer time to more thoroughly go over your documents and maybe verify the contents. I hope your visa got approved and I wish you happy travels!

  20. Good day,

    I have applied 2 years ago at the french embassy because there are too many lacking documents. But now, i have a french friend who will sponsor me. What are the documents needed from him? And since im a graduating student, i only have a property under my name and credit card. Is there a chance of getting denied again?

    1. Hi Queen! To answer your last question first, I think everyone has a chance of getting denied. It’s just up to us to make sure our documents are as complete and convincing as we can make them. If there are documents that we simply don’t have, then we try to compensate with the other documents. If you will be staying with your French friend, you will need an attestation d’accueil, and probably also an affidavit of support. Good luck!

  21. Hi there,
    I have a little confusion with regards to bank certificate issued within last month. Does this mean if i was not able to request for it last month. and if i request tomorrow, is it not valid anymore?
    please help me

    1. Hi Joy! Don’t worry — “within the last month” simply means within the ~30 days before you file your application. Let’s say you’re filing your application on November 15. Your bank certificate should be dated between October 15 and November 15. 🙂 Good luck!

  22. Hi. Ask lang po ng question, may affidavit of support po ako sa father ko for our trip. Need ko pa po bang kumuha ng bank certificate ko non?

    1. Hi Saoirse! It would still be a good idea to get a bank certificate and bank statements from the past year, particularly if your bank docs will show income (your salary, for example) regularly coming in. Bank documents are useful not only in proving financial capacity but also in documenting ties to the Philippines (a well-paying source of income). Good luck!

  23. My visa got denied last monday, how long will i wait to reapply again? Can i reapply next week? I hope you can answer. Thank you

    1. Hi Saoirse. I’m sorry to hear that. I’m not really familiar with the process for appealing or reapplying so I would recommend that you call the VFS office where you submitted your documents and ask them directly. I know a friend who got denied and I believe she reapplied ASAP but it was to another embassy (she revised her itinerary to justify the change in country). Good luck!

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